Dreadful stupidity – Aberdeen Press and Journal 11 November 1799:

A dreadful accident happened at Coalport, near the Iron Bridge, Shropshire, on the evening of the 30th ult.

As a considerable number of the work people, men and women, belonging to Messrs Rofe and Co’s china works at that place, were returning from the manufactory to their homes, on the other side of the Severn, in a large boat kept for that purpose, some of the party very imprudently rocking the boat in a violent manner, in order to intimidate the women, (which, we are sorry to say, is too frequently a practice among the inconsiderate) the melancholy consequence was, that too great a number crowded towards the head of the boat, which took the water, and the greater part of the persons on board were precipitated in the stream, when 21 men and 8 women unfortunately lost their lives.

This dreadful catastrophe has deprived the manufactory of some valuable hands; and, what is more lamentable, several widows and orphans have to deplore in one the loss of the husband and father.